offers a ‘holistic web approach’ for Idahoans

Live better, Idaho.

A new website focused on empowering Idahoans to do just that is now available. is a new and unique way for consumers to discover and connect to supports that can help them live healthier lives. By linking them to appropriate services, they can be empowered to make better choices and – we hope — move themselves and their families to independent, healthier lives.

“It is a very ambitious goal and helps the public quickly take action to access local, state and national resources available to help Idahoans,” said Dick Armstrong, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). “ is more of a holistic web approach for people who want to improve their lives. It can help them put food on their tables, enroll in a nutrition education class, find jobs and mentors, make child support payments, quit smoking, and get access to healthcare, among other things.” is a new and unique way for consumers to discover and connect to supports that can help them live healthier lives.

The site was created by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to fulfill an initiative in its strategic plan, but the department is only the facilitator for a strategy of connecting people in need to a larger framework that includes community partnerships and services in addition to public assistance programs. Continue reading


Work continues on changes to delivery schedule for food stamp benefits

The workgroup met earlier this week to discuss the communications plan for the staggered issuance for benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (also known as the Food Stamps Program).

Starting July 1, participants will receive their benefits based on the last number in the birth year of the cardholder. If a person was born on Dec. 30, 1970, for example. they would receive their benefits on the 10th day of the month. If they were born in 1972, they would receive them on the second day. Benefit will be distributed for the first 10 days of each month.

The group is working on emails, posters, fact sheets and other tools the Department of Health and Welfare, its partners, SNAP retailers and participants will use to exchange information about the schedule change over the next several months.  Continue reading

Idaho Child Support Services website gets a new look, more features

child support blog

Child Support Services has launched a redesigned website that makes it easier for parents to:

  • Find information about services
  • See account balances
  • View or print a payment history
  • Access messages from Child Support Services
  • Update contact information

This change will only affect how information is displayed and printed. It does not change  how child support payments are collected or distributed. Continue reading

Idaho Foodbank estimates an additional 6-8 truckloads of food will be needed for change in SNAP issuance

Lots of communication and extra food donations at community pantries and the Idaho Foodbank will be needed as Idaho transitions from issuing benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the first day of the month to issuing them over the first 10 days of the month.

Planning for the change continued this week as the multi-day transition work group met to determine how grocery stores and community organizations such as the Idaho Foodbank and other food pantries across the state would be affected, and what can be done to support them if SNAP recipients run out of food or are unaware that their benefits are not available before they shop.

“More than anything, we don’t want anyone to be surprised,” said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank. Continue reading

Some Idahoans receiving child support payments will get a new card in the mail

ReliacardIdahoans who already receive child support payments can expect to get a new US Bank ReliaCard® Idaho Family Support Card in October. New customers will receive their cards in November. Both should be on the lookout for a plain white envelope with a return address from Indianapolis, IN. This card replaces the current JP Morgan Chase Idaho Family Support Card. Continue reading

DHW begins planning for multi-day issuance of SNAP benefits

The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and its partners are preparing for a major change in how food stamp benefits are distributed. An initial meeting this week kicked off the planning process to implement the changes on July 1, 2016.

DHW is required by legislation passed in the 2015 session to issue benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the first 10 days of the month rather than only on the first day of the month. The change will begin on July 1, 2016, but an adjustment period is likely for grocers and participants. Grocers lobbied the Legislature to move to a 10-day distribution for benefits because of crowded stores, long lines and inventory challenges on the first of each month.  Continue reading